BET À DAY
The Quebec boxing world has lost one of its great pioneers in Hans-Karl Mühlegg. Died on Sunday from cancer, the founder of Interbox allowed the sport he cherished to shine in the Belle Province for a few years before the start of the millennium, having produced two world champions, among other things.
Of course, there was Leonard Dorin, between 2002 and 2004, who was the WBA world champion at lightweight, but before that, there was also Eric Lucas, champion of the WBC world of super middleweight, between 2001 and 2003.
Interbox was not even five years old when it produced its first world champion in Lucas, while Mühlegg had founded this promotion company in 1997.
From the start, the group had targeted several Quebecers to join its ranks, including Stéphane Ouellet, Jean-François Bergeron and Lucas.
“The fact that he arrived in the world of boxing, that he decided to leave the Interbox group with all the players who were part of his team – in there Yvon Michel and many others – it ended by raising boxing in Quebec to a world level, and today, boxing in Quebec is still at that level and there is a part [of the merit] which is due to him”, launched Lucas, joined at the end of the fil.
The now 51-year-old athlete retains only fond memories of the former promoter.
“He is a nice man. I rubbed shoulders with him a bit during my years with Interbox, from 1998 to 2004, added the former world champion. We met again for dinner a few years ago and he was a truly human man.
“The word that comes back to me is that he is a truly wonderful human and of a great kindness.”
A different and original way of doing things
In launching Interbox, Mühlegg adhered to a very unusual practice. Contrary to what is seen today, the athletes in his group were paid, like employees, to train, in addition to benefiting from housing and a vehicle provided, among other things.
< p>“It had never been seen in the boxing world, for a promoter to start a boxing business and pay his athletes before he even made a dollar. Boxing has always worked [the same way]. The boxers were boxing and their promoter took a percentage of their purse. We weren't the same.”
“It allowed me to have all the tools an athlete needed. When we started with Interbox, we didn't need to worry about money, because we had a salary to train, vehicles provided. We are talking about material goods, but also everything that surrounded training. Coaches, physical trainers, psychologists, we had everything at our disposal. It is thanks to this gentleman and all the investments he has made. For my part, it served me very well, I was able to put all my energy into my boxing career and it led me to the world championship. There's a big chunk of it that I can say goes to him as well.”